4 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Volunteer review of Ironbark Hill by Jamasenu
Ironbark Hill is a story about Natalie, a 16-year old girl that suffers violence and hardship at the hands of her step-father, Alex. She lives with Alex and her mother, Irma. She has three other siblings; Joey, Shirley, and Robyn. Her younger brother, Davey, died at an early age and that changed the happiness in her family tremendously. Her family is struggling to stay above poverty and she’s learning about life, its ups and downs, and where it will sometimes take you to places that you may or may not want to go and do things you never thought you would do.
The author took the time to describe each individual characteristic flaws and positive points. You instantly took a dislike to Alex because of his bullish ways. She illustrated the depths a man will go to have dominance over his family. To me, the author is describing an abusive man that loves to inflict pain because he does not understand his actions or wishes to control his emotional outbursts. The other characters were shown as somewhat docile, everyone except Natalie. As she gets older her tolerance of Alex is slowly evaporating.
I liked the fact that she never stopped learning even though she only obtained her intermediate certificate. I was a little stunned at the vocabulary she was using. She used words such as “Opiate, noviciate, ardour," and few others. The words coming from someone with the amount of education she has kind of surprised me until I read that she was learning with the Grover’s, Bruce and Rosemary. The best quote in the book came from Rosemary to Natalie informing her that she decides her destiny. “You set your own limitations in this life, Natalie, and that’s what you have to live with.” The author sums the book up in this one quote by giving Natalie the knowledge that she’s in charge of her life and what she chooses to do with it.
What I didn’t like was the affair between Natalie and Bruce (slight spoiler alert). She’s sixteen and he’s in his early or mid-thirties. I would have preferred if the author had focused more on the hatred within Shirley than the situation between Natalie and Bruce. The author was kind, however, not to go in-depth concerning the sexual relations they had. The other part I did not care for was the manipulation that Alex used at the end to make Natalie do what he wanted. It showed that people with addictions will do anything they can to relieve their need. There was at least one misspelled word and a few punctuation errors but not enough to hinder the author’s point of view.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. The author was able to deliver her perspective without losing the reader’s attention. She captured the essence of each individual using simplistic description, and she brought humor into a very poignant story. This book told the story of a young lady, in an abusive family that was determined to make her life her own. At the end, she did just that. This book I would recommend young females to read because there are some young girls that are dealing with similar issues as Natalie and needs to understand that life sometimes deals you lemons and you must learn how to change it to lemonade. This book would not relate well to men or women that are not willing to open their eyes to understand and see the destruction abuse has in a family.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like Jamasenu's review? Post a comment saying so!